I’ve been planting. I’ve been planting and I feel like I deserve a medal. But how hard can it be? One website even boasts, “Dig. Drop. Done.” about flower bulbs. I wanted to believe them. How hard could it be? And the bulbs, they were so cheap…
But I live in Arizona, home to caliche soil. Caliche forms in dry climates. It’s a mixture of soil cemented together by calcium carbonate. Cemented is the operative word. It forms a layer a few inches below the topsoil and can be small rocks or large, lanky boulders. I borrowed my neighbor’s gas powered tiller and spent hours trying to break through small sections. That’s when I wondered why I bought daffodils instead of just iris. Iris bulbs are smaller and need to planted around four inches deep. The large daffodil bulbs need to be planted around 6-8 inches. The biggest indicator of success seems to be how deep one plants the suckers. It took me three hours to create a two foot by three foot plot if I rounded up my measurements. It was the end of September and even though I was close to 6,000 feet in elevation, it still reached almost 90 degrees every afternoon. Dig. Drop. Done. I think the motto for Arizona would be dig till you drop and pronounce yourself done. I found I could do two to three hours in the morning, then shower and nap resting until after four when I would start all over again. I was determined that neither dirt nor deer (elk) were going to stop me from having a beautiful retreat.
Finally, Nature decided to help. It brought a hurricane off Mexico moving lots of rain over my humble half acre in the Arizona woods. While I was sad for the devastation it caused others, I had the opportunity to be grateful. After three days of rain, the dirt was as good as a Midwestern corn field. (Well, maybe not, but it shoveled like one.) My husband drove up from Phoenix and we spent three cooler days finishing the job. And what a job it was! Over 250 bulbs when into the mud with less than half the effort. I was grateful for the miracle.
Next year, will be our first full spring in the cabin and the first year I will ever have a garden. In the spring, I want to supplement the bulbs with ever-faithful bleeding hearts and maybe some sunflowers. For now, we plant with foolhardy hope. We plant with a look to the future. Maybe I won’t get my medal. But if I’m lucky, I will get flowers.
I'm melancholy today. I realize that feeling depressed is much different than clinical depression, which is a serious matter. I’m talking about the temporary sadness one feels when they want to feel sorry for themselves or the world but don’t have a reason.
On a good day, I would try to get over myself– get busy, help others, call up a friend, or watch a comedy. A bit of melancholy works for a writer, however. It taps into the ache in my chest which creates that need to write. It gives me time to be introspective if I go with those emotions. It helps me to daydream.
We own our happy feelings but have a tendency to shake off any sad ones. What if the melancholy moods were the ones where we were closest to our true selves? What if it was the time we were able to take stock of our lives and where we were going? I’m going to honor those feelings and recognize that they are a signal to slow down and be with myself for a while. I will come out the other side better in tune with myself and my aspirations. Maybe being melancholy is a good thing.
I usually have it all together. My holidays are free from stress and are peaceful family times. No kidding. Two years ago, I caught a cold just before the holidays. I caught it again this year. Why? Why me? I just want to whine the day away with a box of tissues.
Part of our gift to my teenager is money. What do you get someone at his age? So, I had the brilliant idea of turning the money into origami pieces. Why not? How hard could it be? Pinterest has so many wonderful examples. It really isn’t that hard, but the clock is ticking and I’m wasting my time laying around in bed feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I will just put it in a card. Go easy on myself. Nope. Must. Be. Over. The. Top. Sigh, we make our own misery.
This is probably my last turkey as well. Steak is so much easier to prepare. If only my husband didn’t love turkey so much. Perhaps it is the cold talking. I think I need a long winter’s nap.
My husband’s birthday was yesterday. It coincides with our need to get a new stove. After eighteen years, it is better to buy new than to repair. I tease him that that is his birthday present. It’s on order, meaning we have no oven to use.
Poor guy, he had to settle for a store bought a pie for his birthday. He loves chocolate mousse, so I will make him a huge batch for this weekend. No need to weight it down with cake. It is too hot to bake anyway. While the rest of the country thinks about fall, we will have to wait patiently until October to have the temperature in Phoenix drop below 100 degrees. Don’t mention fall; I can’t get my hopes up yet.
Birthday cake or pie? Homemade or bought? Dinner at home, at a park or at a restaurant?
I have been getting a lot of feedback from friends and family on my stories. It’s funny how the first thing I want to hear is about how much they loved my wonderful story. I’m excited that I am getting to hear those comments. But I really wish I would hear more about “On Page 20, I was confused…” or, “You forgot to put quotation marks on Page 189….” Truly, both types of feedback are needed and welcomed. Any feedback is gold! I feel the love and support.
I have such appreciation for a book that finally gets published. It is so hard to be perfect! Even when you know what the rule is, it is easy to write something so quickly you just don’t see the mistake. Then, of course, there are the rules you never bothered to commit to memory.
I will forever be grateful to my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Gregor, who loved grammar. I my me mine; You your yours you. She would stand in the corner and act out the four types of sentences. We would beg, beg her mind you, to quiz us on them. What kind of sentence is this? Interrogative. Tell me about this sentence! Declarative….
Now, if only she could have shared her love for spelling with me….
I finally get to write full time! The first thing people ask me is if I am lonely. Don't they know? They must not be writers. My head is so full of dialog and people I can’t get them on the page fast enough. I wonder what this character would think about that? How would he react to this? A writer has so many friends; it’s hard to fit the real ones in sometimes.
I laughed when I told my husband, Bob, not to be surprised if the dedication page was written out to Charlie. Our dog loves to keep me company- at my feet, on a chair, on the floor. She is always with me when I write. If I happen to sigh or whisper to myself, she comes over and wags her tail thinking I’m upset. She wants to make it all better. At first, it was cute, now it’s an annoying distraction. I sigh more than I realized!
I just finished writing a novel. I find myself going back to the pages to tweak something here and there, but I know I will need to stop. If it ain’t broke…. It’s just that I miss them…. I’m not ready to let my characters go. Move on, Maryanne, move on! Do you have something of which you are not ready to let go?